The Westport Maritime Museum

2201 Westhaven Drive

Westport, WA

September 12th, 1998

On the Map nameWashington coast, opposite Seattle, is Grays Harbor. This harbor with its jetty system has long been a haven for fishermen, both commercial and sports. Over time the area has developed into a tourist attraction which holds something for everybody. As we wandered around the shores one day, we came upon Westport. It's public pier and image-09 marina area are lined with the kind of shops one would expect to find. Gifts and T-shirt outlets, galleries and eateries. Off in the distance is the 123 foot Grays Harbor lighthouse, built in 1897, and long since replaced (1992) by a modern lighting system. Walking tours of the area are available through the Museum. The Westport/South Beach Historical Society's Maritime Museum was originally built as a Coast Guard station in 1940. This picturesque building , done in the Nantucket style prevalent during the thirties, includes three stories, six gables and a widow's walk. The station housed 20 enlisted men until the Coast Guard moved to new quarters in 1973. In 1976 image-01the property was acquired by the city of Westport and in 1985, the building was turned over to the Historical Society. Theimage-07 Society turned the station into a great museum, full of interesting artifacts that tell of whaling, fishing and cranberries in the local area. The mess hall walls are covered with old photographs of the original station. The Day Room contains photos and memorabilia from the logging and cranberry industries. This part of Washington is known as the Cranberry Coast and produces almost as much of the tangy berry as is produced in New England. Both wet harvest and dry harvest are described along with the tools and techniques of this very different type of farming. All around the town are cranberry bogs and it was worth our time to sit on the banks and watch, as cranberries were harvested in late Fall.

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